The Principles of Bariatric Surgery
The basic principle of bariatric surgery is to restrict food intake and decrease the absorption of food in the stomach and intestines. Bariatric surgery may lower death rates for patients with morbid obesity, especially when coupled with healthy eating and lifestyle changes after surgery.
The digestion process begins in the mouth where food is chewed and mixed with saliva and other enzyme-containing secretions. The food then reaches the stomach where it is mixed with digestive juices and broken down so that nutrients and calories can be absorbed.
Digestion then becomes faster as food moves into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) where it is mixed with bile and pancreatic juice. Bariatric surgery is designed to alter or interrupt this digestion process so that food is not broken down and absorbed in the usual way.
A reduction in the amount of nutrients and calories absorbed enables patients to lose weight and decrease their risk for obesity-related health risks or disorders.